Chantal Akerman’s film Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles has been chosen as the greatest film of all time by the British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound poll. This is the first time a work directed by a woman has made it to the top ten of the poll.
The poll, which is conducted every ten years, has been criticised for a lack of diversity. Jeanne Dielman, released in 1975, is the story of a Belgian widow who turns to prostitution to make ends meet, but kills one of her clients.
Akerman, who died in 2015, has been lauded as a “masterpiece” and a ground-breaking piece of feminist film. In an article for the British Film Institute, Laura Mulvey, a professor of film studies at Birkbeck University, called the vote a “sudden shake-up”.